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Stable Isotope Characteristics of Jarosite: The Acidic Aqueous History of MarsThe Mars Rover Opportunity found jarosite (Na(+) or K(+))Fe3SO4(OH)6 at the Meridiani Planum site. This mineral forms from the evaporation of an aqueous acidic sulfate brine. Oxygen isotope compositions may characterize formation conditions but subsequent isotope exchange may have occurred between the sulfate and hydroxide of jarosite and water. The rate of oxygen isotope exchange depends on the acidity and temperature of the brine, but it has not been investigated in detail. We performed laboratory experiments to determine the rate of oxygen isotope exchange under varying acidities and temperatures to learn more about this process. Barium sulfate samples were precipitated weekly from acidic sodium sulfate brines. The oxygen isotope composition of the precipitated sulfate was obtained using a Finnigan MAT253 Isotope Ratio Mass-Spectrometer. The results show that water was trapped in barium sulfate during precipitation. Trapped water may exchange with sulfate when exposed to high temperatures, thus changing the isotope composition of sulfate and the observed fractionation factor of oxygen isotope exchange between sulfate and water. The results of our research will contribute to the understanding of oxygen isotope exchange rates between water and sulfate under acidic conditions and provide experimental knowledge for the dehydration of barium sulfate samples.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Earl, Lyndsey D.
(Reed Coll. Portland, OR, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Summer Student Research Presentations
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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